There’s something about childbirth that liberates a woman, no matter how conservative she might be. Katie reveals what it’s like to let loose for a few months…
I have always been ultra-conservative when it comes to how much skin I’m showing. Not that I have oodles of cleavage to cover (or any for that matter). I’ve just always been more comfortable with my neckline high and my skirt hem low. Even my own mother now admits that she has always thought that I’ve dressed too conservatively! It must have been bad because I thought parents were supposed to cover up their teenage daughters more. I could’ve been one of those people on “What Not to Wear” that responds, “But It’s Comfortable!”.
Just in the past few years, I’ve branched out to be a little more attuned to a tasteful style that shows just a little more than neck and knees. But since my little guy was born, I actually have to remind myself where the boundaries are!
I have to admit, at the beginning of my pregnancy one of the things I was most anxious about was being bare in the hospital. Not so much pushing him out, but having strangers to help me begin breastfeeding was a concern. However with each monthly and eventually weekly check-up during the pregnancy, I just became more and more accustomed to… well, being practically naked.
When the big day came, the last thing I was concerned about was being naked under that little cloth. At that point, no other concern in the world could compete with my need to get him out! As soon as he was “out”, I told my husband to get all of our family from the waiting room. But the nurses knew better. They said, “NO! We need to clean you up first!” And I was more than grateful for anyone who would help me learn to feed my precious, new baby. So after all that, I felt like, “I’ve already been exposed. What’s the big deal now?”
One of our first trips out, we ran into some old friends and got to show off our little angel. I was wearing little shorts and a tank top that was obviously made for nursing. About a month later, when some moderate modesty began to return, I was so embarrassed to realize that those nursing tank tops are meant to be worn under clothes, not by themselves. I felt like I had been walking around in my bra all that time.
Before I would’ve been mortified to nurse him while visiting with friends. But it just became a normal part of life. Now I’m realizing that I never really mastered the art of concealing myself. Even using a cover, I was just awkward.
When different nursing issues arose, I found out that some remedies included air-drying after feeding and going bra-less as much as possible. I also had to pump daily. Although I was originally horrified of pumping, it actually became part of our family evening TV time. Don’t worry, I didn’t share those moments with outsiders. But it does feel weird that I have to consciously and proactively remember how to become decently presentable.
While much vulnerability is necessary for giving birth and beginning to breastfeed, I’m realizing that the whole world doesn’t need to be a part of that. My modesty is back for now, but I definitely want to have more children in the future. Maybe if my next baby is born in the winter, I’ll be forced to cover up and won’t have to worry about losing my modesty. Then again, going bra-less is very comfortable!